September 1 – Are Yard Sales a true test of human intelligence?

     I’ve never been to a better attended meeting of the neighborhood Canine Marching and Ham Bone Society.   Fourteen of our sixteen members had assembled at a yard sale held in the vacant lot down the street.  The large gathering of dogs corresponded to the numerous card tables, enormous stacks of stuff, and multitude of loitering humans trampling the grass of my favorite restroom facility.
     Those yard sale things are a homo sapiens invention, usually held in front of houses in the ‘hood.  Some enterprising human had come up with the idea of getting everyone to bring their stuff to the lot, advertise in the paper, and have a grandiose event.  Of course, this Einstein hadn’t thought about the fact everyone would have to clean the stuff up, find something to display it on, haul it there, and, of course, haul it back.  After buying cleaning products, a card table that “we can always use,” super glue to fix broken soldiers, and paying for part of the add, most participants were in a breakeven situation at best.
     If you’re not familiar with the concept of a yard sale, I’ll explain.  First, “Yard Sale,” is a complete misnomer.  I’ve never seen or ever heard of a single yard being sold.  I think it’s a bait and switch marketing ploy.  They’re also called “Garage Sales,” but that title isn’t as popular because even humans with their limited intelligence realize you can’t tear off the garage from the rest of the house.
     Basically, a yard sale happens when humans clean their houses.  They find things they no longer want.  It might be a serving dish with a chip, a fishing reel that doesn’t work, a skirt that miraculously shrunk two sizes without ever being washed, or a painting Uncle Festus gave them to scare roaches away.  They consider relegating these items to the trash, but no, their avarice makes them think they might be able convert their unwanted, dare I say it, “junk,” to cash.
    Typically, these items go from the household to a heap called, “The I don’t want or use, but I can’t get rid for some stupid reason,” pile in the attic, laundry room, basement, or garage.  Those items languish there for a period of time where they deteriorate or become covered with dust to the point their appearance is poor enough to be transferred to the, “I’ll get rid of this at a yard sale,” pile which is a larger and dingier heap.
    Watching humans buying things at these sales is instructive.  There’s the person who is looking for a specific needed item, or for something that might have value as an antique.  It is a very small percentage of these folks for it requires an IQ larger than a little leaguers’ hat size to do this and humans…. 
     There’s a larger group that are there looking for a “bargain.”  These folks typically buy something they have absolutely no need for because it’s cheap.  They take their purchase to their car, smiling at their treasure, where it will provide its greatest value to them: ballast to keep their car from being sucked up in a tornado.
     Another group are the ones I refer to as the “Hagglers.”  They enjoy making every penny a contest, trying to get the seller to bend to their will.  Hagglers would enjoy participating in a timed toilet paper wiping contest.
     A few impulse buyers see things they’ve sold at previous neighborhood sales.  Suddenly, a wet blanket of mushy guilt settles over them when they see that artsy carafe shaped like a nude sumo wrestler that Aunt Sally gave them.  What if she comes and asks about it?  The cycle starts again when a simple lie would suffice, “We used it all the time ’til we broke it.”
     Then there are the mindless wanderers, the “Gawkers.”  They shuffle around the lot, collecting my doggy dew on their shoes, picking up items, admiring them without the slightest knowledge of what they’re looking at, and buying several items without any reason at all.  Well, that’s the human thing to do.
     Of course, most of the items purchased at these events have brief lives in dining rooms, kitchens, etc., before finding their way to the, “The I don’t want or use, but I can’t get rid for some stupid reason,” pile.  The cycle continues.
     At the Canine Marching and Ham Bone Society meeting we discussed what I’ve just described and were about to pass a motion that this was “best evidence” of the lack of gray matter in the human cranium.  However, it was scrapped and another unanimously adopted when, Opie, our resident Scotty, said, “I don’t know if that’s best evidence.  Consider that most human’s voted for Bush and Obama back to back.”




11 thoughts on “September 1 – Are Yard Sales a true test of human intelligence?

  1. Oh, Sandy, you’ve nailed it! i organized such a sale – to raise money for a skate park. charity! keep those young men from becoming hood ornaments! one kind and civic minded gentleman found two small porcelain figurines – $0.10 each! paying me with a shiny quarter, he stood patiently and waited for his $0.05 change! “Thank you sir! The youth of the community truly appreciate your support!”

  2. Funny, Sandy! Well thought out and stated. Yard sales are, for the most part, a waste of time for the seller and the buyer.
    “Hey, I made $50 at my yard sale!”
    “How much time did you put into this effort?
    “Only three weeks.”
    “How much did you pay for supplies?”
    “About $20.
    “So you earned about $10 a week?
    “Yes!! Isn’t it great?”

  3. lol I just love your sescription of the people that go to “Yard” sales. lol I do recognize all of them. lol I have had a few of those sales. I end up giving things away to people. Sometimes, even if you give it to them for free…they do not want it. I end up giving all of the leftovers to charity. I always ket my kids do the work. They like to earn extra cash. They do get discouraged. lol We have not had a sale for a looong time. Now, we throw things away that need to be thrown away. lol Hope you have a fun week. Stay well and happy. Hi to your family.

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